Seven months, 26,765 miles, 64 huts/hostels/hotels, 15 flights, 14 trains, 42 buses, and 14 boats later, our grand worldwide adventure has come to an end, and here we are back in the UK.
We landed back at Heathrow's new Terminal 5 on a bright, sunny and crisp autumn day and were whisked off to the Isle of Wight by Amy's uncle Hugh to attend Anna & Glen's wedding where Amy was giving a speech, the very next day.
We've been back in the UK for a while now. We moved into a flat in London with our two cats. We have caught up with friends and have either found employment or are in the process are getting it.
It's awfully strange to be back. Even after a few weeks, it felt like we'd left our travelling selves on a beach somewhere. Now, after a couple of months it feels like we almost never left. Almost, that is.
Since we've been back we've managed to stay in touch with some of the people we met while we were travelling. We've seen Jon and Anna (Peru), Justin and Natalie (Bali) and have either spoken to, emailed or written to Lisa (Bali), Giles (Bolivia & Argentina), Tats and Alexis (Bolivia, Argentina & Uruguay!), Patrick (India, Australia)... to name just a few.
The one saving grace that takes us back are the little emails, cards and photos we receive from all of the wonderful people we met while we were away, but the one thing that makes it worth staying put (for a while, at least) are all of the wonderful friends and family we've come home to.
Now we just need to decide where we're off to next......
We spent the last few days of our excellent adventure in Buenos Aires. The weather wasn't great, but as we were coming to the end of our trip we decided to treat ourselves to an apartment which turned out to be a very wise move, and kinda made up for the rain and grey skies.
Our place was super central (and on one of the widest roads in the world - see view in photo below) and meant we could cook for all our new friends every night! So that's exactly what we did. We ate a lot, drank a lot, and on our last night we went out on the town and experienced BA's crazy nightlife. Nothing kicks off there until 2am, so you really have to have some energy in reserve so you don't fall asleep in whichever bar you visit before the dancing begins. The place we found was packed full of locals who all seemed to know every dance move to every latino pop tune that came on... It was slightly freaky but strangely mesmerising at the same time.
After that it was time for an emotional farewell, and a couple of hours sleep before nearly missing our flight due to Adrian setting the alarm for 8pm instead of am... Silly boy.
After a few days of riding, relaxing and a great deal of eating we had to return to civilisation, and had one more night in Montevideo.
We decided to check out the picturesque seaside town of Colonia (not unlike many quaint British seaside destinations) and arrived after 2 hours on a bus to find that everywhere was fully booked. The entire population of Argentina had come to Colonia for their bank holiday weekend and left no room for us.
We found somewhere in the end and spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine. We watched the sun set with a beer outside a pub by the sea, while Adrian made me learn my reading for Anna's wedding off by heart. While I was rehearsing, I spotted a familiar figure in the distance, and couldn't believe my eyes when I realised it was Tatiana and Alexis walking towards us! After much excitement we settled down for the evening and consumed more beer.
A couple of days later we all bundled back on the boat back to Buenos Aires.
I have since found out from my Grandmother that Colonia was where my Grandfather was born!
We decided to catch a ferry to Uruguay while we still had plenty of time left, and met up with Alexis and Tatiana again in Montevideo. The city was very quiet and I swear we were the only foreigners in the whole country.
Adrian and I booked a few days on an estancia in Cerro Colorado so we could spend some time riding horses. After two nights in the capital we caught a bus out of town and into the middle of nowhere. Our bus dropped us off and we felt a little bewildered until someone tapped us on the shoulder and said 'San Pedro'? Relieved, we hopped into his taxi and he took us even further from civilisation and dropped us at San Pedro estancia.
We couldn't believe our eyes - sat before us was a tiny village of Mediterranean style buildings and even a small church. There were endless stretches of green in all directions. We really were in the middle of nowhere.
We were shown to our room complete with roaring fire, and went straight for lunch. Three hefty courses later we walked fatly out of the restaurant and chilled in our snuggly room before going out for our first outing on the horses....
We said farewell to our friends and left Iguazú for Buenos Aires last weekend. Yet another overnight bus journey and we arrived in BA in time for lunch. Got off to a bad start by getting totally ripped off by our taxi driver, but never mind...
We spent the weekend exploring the city on foot. We had a room in the lively Recoleta district with some pretty amazing restaurants and cafes nearby and actually very few tourists. On Sunday morning we went on a guided walk with a very entertaining guide who took us to lots of historical nooks and crannies of the city. We visited the cemetery (more of a small town than a cemetery!) where Eva Peron is buried, visited San Telmo for the weekly antiques market, and then caught a train out to the suburbs to Martinez to visit my grandfather´s cousin, Elaine.
That night we returned to San Telmo to watch the locals come together to tango in the square, with a troupe of drummers passing by in the background. Party central!
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